Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, I've been MIA. I guess life happened. Between the busy-ness of things and the routine, I guess I neglected the fact that I love to write. Happens.

So today is Thanksgiving, a traditional holiday in the States. This is my favorite American holiday, because the very spirit of it transcends race, ethnicity, and nationality. It gives everyone an opportunity to self-reflect and be appreciative. I'm certainly thankful for many aspects of my life, including my lovely family, amazing friends, great work & colleagues, good health, and my hobbies.

The past three months have been somewhat reflective. I've realized how important some things are to me, and how invaluable some aren't. I've done plenty of things - watched movies, shopped, cooked awesome food, practiced Yoga. I guess I needed a break from the usual cycle. And what a refreshing break it was... :-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Exchange Place

I love river-side or sea-side waterfronts. I don't know - I guess it's a Mumbai thing. Staring out at the rolling waves gushing against shore brings a calming feeling. Being at the shore allows me to collect my thoughts, think about them rationally, and nitpick my way through the pros/cons of a situation in front of me.
Exchange Place. Some people might only know this as a train station - but to me, this place is serenity defined. The NYC landscape is a stone's throw away from the waterfront - and being one step away from lower Manhattan compluses me to think if I really belong there or not.
The very first time I visited this place was years ago in November '03. It was extremely chilly out because I remember shivering a tiny bit. Can't remember exactly what it was that drew me towards the water - but the effect of this attraction-at-first-sight still remains. Ever since then, throughout my college years, this is one place that I've visited when I'm either sad, confused, or frustrated.
About three years ago, I interned at a firm located at Exchange Place. After the drag and drone of the usual workday, I automatically drifted near the waterfront and walked to my heart's content before catching the train home. I used to walk all the way to this one corner - where the pathway basically ends - and stood there gazing out, contemplating what exactly it was that I wanted from life. Months have rolled into years, and I still haven't found the answer to that question.
I visited my much loved sanity space again today, after many many months. I did my usual routine - walk it out, sit, walk to the corner where the pathway ends and stare out at the Hudson as it extends beyond the bridge in sight. The sunny evening reliquinshed itself to twilight. The crowd started thinning out a bit and so did my restlessness. The frustration melted away. The glass was half-full again.
I'm still unable to express what it is in this half a mile of stretched concrete embracing the Hudson - but trust me, it keeps me sane.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Memories, Untouchable...

When I close my eyes today and think back to my college days, I feel an ache, a longing for the times gone by. The campus. The classes & professors. The study sessions. The plaza. That one black bench on the plaza which was my favorite spot. Law Library. Yummy cappuccinos at the local mom & pop stores. Student Government meetings. Indian Association meetings. Dance practices. Holi Shows, Diwali Shows. Garbas. Aloo Tikkis and Mota Ravi's (names of sandwiches) from the 'Taj Mahal' truck. Dunkin' Donuts trips. Hoboken. The 5-hour conference calls that started at midnight :-) ... I can go on forever, I think.
The day used to start and never end without a navrapanti session (read: passing time) with 6 of my friends. We called ourselves 'The Gang'. The campus was our home and we walked on the streeets as if we owned them. We fought, we argued - but at the end of the day - we made up.
It's been two years - but I still remember the littlest of things and the smallest of incidences. A always used to have his laptop with him - and I always snatched it away wanting to either listen to music (while writing research papers) or to check email, or to read news, etc. D undoubtedly needed help with his English term papers. I miss sitting with a red pen in one hand, a cup of coffee in another and going through his paper line by line to sift for spelling errors (he made plenty of those :-) ). C always charmed my day with a teddy bear smile, B with her silliness (which drove me to my wit's end sometimes) and I remember that M kept us alive and kicking through study sessions by bringing food. And - no matter what happened, V and I always made trips to the campus store to buy 'mini cupcakes', coffees and Aloo Tikkis.
Here I am, two years later, typing out this embarrasingly emotional post and reminiscing these times gone by. What would I give up right now to be with 6 of my friends on The Plaza? I don't know. What I do know is that change happens - and it happens for the good - but why am I not in terms with this change in my life? After all, it's only been two years. Why this ache, this pang for the times gone by? Why this feeling that I've lost something very important to me?
Come to think of it, maybe I've gained something out of this loss. Maybe I've gained a collection of memories that can never be tarnished, that can never be touched. Those four years of my life were just perfect.
Heart-breakingly, achingly, perfect.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You Are Here

Why can't life be mapped out for us? I mean, think about it - you're at the mall, you see a map with a crystal clear red sign saying 'You Are Here'. Wouldn't life be tremendously easy if someone told us this is where you are - and this is the road you need to take if you want to go here? Wouldn't it be easy to know the unknowns ahead of time?
The most unpredictable of all things is life itself. Plan all you want, but you never know what's coming.
Looking back in retrospect,
The choices seem to be right.
Looking ahead, I realize,
It's a very fuzzy sight.
I'll try this, and I'll go that way,
All the while hoping, I don't go astray.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The San Fran Plan

So, it's decided. Flights are booked. I'll be basking in the San Fransisco sun during Labor Day weekend, and I can't be more excited!

Being the itchy traveller's feet I have, I've already started planning the entire trip, including where to eat lunches & dinners :-) ... It should be quite wonderful though, as the weather during the end of summer is absolutely gorgeous there.

With work being quite hectic the last few months, this trip should definitely be worth the wait!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Apple of My Eye

Yes, pun intended. I finally got the iPhone (after a prolonged phase of indecision), and I'm totally loving it. I was quite unsure how useful it will turn out to be - but hey, one has to succumb to peer pressure someone in his/her life. So in came the iPhone, and out went sleeping on the bus when getting home from work.

The feeling of having access to the world in my palm and always being connected is - well - taking time to get used to. I can no longer chug out excuses like 'I missed your party because I've been getting home from work late and haven't checked my personal mail'. :-D

YouTube has become my best friend for the commute home. And, check this out, I can now solve a Rubik's Cube, thanks to the iPhone app!

I thought everything had its pros and cons. Help me find the cons for this little Apple, will you?

Friday, June 26, 2009


It's interesting to see how people react to changes in differently. Some shy away, some go into denial, and then some who embrace the situation and see an opportunity in challenging times.

I could back out. But, there's one problem: I love the playing field.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Med It Tation

Definitely one of the things I was too-quick to pass a judgement on. I used to have the 'how hard is it to sit still and think about nothing' approach towards meditation - until I tried it for the first time. This is something that demands immense patience & focus; perseverence & dedication.

The end result - wow, I've never felt so calm in my life before. I guess I never realized how gigantic of a magnet the mind is to all sorts of thoughts. It takes skill to keep everything at bay and focus on one and only thing - to not think about anything. I must say, it does help though. I tried it and liked it so much that I intend to pursue this at least twice-thrice a week. Kind of needed though - or I think I'll go nuts!

Monday, June 8, 2009


I was having a discussion with one of my friends today - and it revolved around the ability of having a high level of self-confidence. Some folks think quite low of themselves when they really shouldn't. Whether it be at work or in personal life, I think it's imporant to walk around with a clear sense of who you are and what you bring to the table. It's hard to develop, but it's not impossible.

I guess the most important thing is to define a "feel good" factor. What makes you "feel good" about yourself? That's one thing that definitely drives the levels of self confidence up or down. So, what's your "feel good" factor?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Paris and More Paris

I can't stop raving about how picturesque some parts of the city are. We started the day off with a visit to Ile de la Cite ("cradle of the city") where Paris was born. On this tiny island, we got a chance to see Cathedrale du Notre Dame. There is so much history behind this epitome of French Gothic architecture; construction took nearly 200 years to finish, and the cathedral itself is over 650 years old. To be walking around and inside an icon centuries old was indeed interesting. The interior is ornate with stained-glass windows, mosaic work on some of the ceiling, and of course, artwork.

Nothing beats the walk around the cathedral (each entrance to the building looks different) and across Pont Neuf - the oldest standing bridge across the Seine. On the left bank are street-side artists, booksellers, caricaturists, vendors, all in the backdrop of the Notre Dame.

After grabbing a bite to eat, we headed towards the Tour Eiffel. We decided not to see it from the top today as the weather was a bit cloudy - and rain was on the charts for the evening; we figured that the best view would be when it's sunny out - so we'll try back tomorrow. Instead, we used the time to take a cruise up the Seine river. The boat ride offered some of the most beautiful views of Notre Dame, Tour Eiffel, Assemblee Nationale, Musee du Louvre, and Musee D'Orsay. After about an hour, we got off a the Tour Eiffel and had a chance to click some snaps around it. Bang opposite the Tour Eiffel is Ecole Militaire, which is a military training house. We ate dinner (pommes frites and vegetable sandwich on a French baguette) near Tour Eiffel in a cutesy cafe and headed back to the hotel for some much-needed rest for the feet.

It was a heavenly day altogether. Looking forward to a visit to Musee du Louvre and Tour Eiffel tomorrow. Au Revoir!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bonjour Paris!

The trip is on full swing now. I was thinking that London will be nothing new to me, as I've stayed there for about 2 months when I was on a business trip. Yet, I had a great time there. It was all about sightseeing with the family - and meeting up good ol' friends. There was a lot of catch up to do - and as expected - not enough time for it! Luckily, I was able to plan it well so that while my family was doing a lot of the touristy stuff, I was able to kick back with a coffee at Costa with close friends.

Right now, we're in Paris. The city is absolutely beautiful. Very European, even more so than London, I think. Cathedrals, museums, squares, the Seine, Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe - there's so much history and culture to soak in. There's so much to see and do - but nothing beats lazing around at a quaint roadside cafe - sipping on coffee and gorging on a delicious Pain au Chocolat. Pastries here taste like they have tasted never before - and the smell of a patisserie is so inviting that one has to relinquish!
I'm planning to visit the Notre Dame and Tour Eiffel tomorrow. More posts coming soon, so stay tuned! :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Travel Bug

Indeed, the travel bug has bit me, yet again!

London and Paris await this time around. Though, I've stayed in London for about two months just a short while back, I'm excited to meet friends this time around. There's a lot of catching-up to do with old ones, and meeting-up with those I've been friendly with at work. Should be exciting, and lot of fun. Definitely looking forward to it!

Paris - well, there's too much to see and not much time! I can't wait to see all the gorgeous cathedrals/palaces, eat at the quaint road-side cafes, and most of all, meet Mona Lisa over at the Louvre. I've studied Art History back in college, so the trip to the Art Galleries should be interesting. Also eager to take the cruise up the Seine river to catch the picturesque view of Tour Eiffel and Cahedrale Notre Dame de Paris.

Stay tuned for travel reviews and pictures!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Brew-of-Life!

It's been one year since I've started blogging.

To be honest, writing has always been a stress-reliever for me. Whether it's on the back cover of a notebook during a lecture (you can tell how industrious of a student I was), or few lines in my planner on the way home from work- it's one way of squeezing out all of the convoluted thoughts in my brain - in, well, somewhat of a coherent manner!

This blog has provided me with space - a much needed tiny corner to pour my brew of life into this cauldron of world-wide-webness.

Thanks to all those who read this (hellooo, anyone out there?!) and all those who take the time out to put in a comment or two. It's much appreciated :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

I've been MIA!

Yes, the blogsphere did seem a tiny bit far away. Long work hours had consumed my life for the past month-and-a-half or so. Not that the hours are any better now. Yet, here I am, on a Monday night, with an itch to pen a few words down.

What did I do while I was MIA? Nothing jazzy, actually. Spent quality time with family, hung out with close friends, did some quiet reading over the weekends. Sometimes, amidst a hurricane-like life, you find solace in the littlest of things. That's what the last two months were about.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oye Lucky Lucky Oye

To be very candid, this movie seemed hopeless when it came out. I had no intentions of watching it, until KP insisted that I do. And, I'm glad I took his recommendation seriously!

It's a very well-executed movie. No mirch-masala, no unnecessary drama, no over-the-top emotional saga. The story? Totally believeable, down-to-earth, and real. Lucky's first crush, his behaviour with his Dad, his early years, the circle of friends he has - all these bits seem very tangible.

This movie reminded me a lot of Khosla Ka Ghosla, which is also directed by Dibakar Banerjee. He's done a great job with keeping things at ground level in both flicks.

And Abhay Deol? He's not so bad afterall :-)

A must watch for all those in favour of independent/parallel cinema!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sunny Mexico!

I had nothing in particular to write today, so I thought I'd post pictures from my recent trip to Mexico. The weather was lovely; the sea, picturesque.

I had a chance to travel quite a bit - took a day trip to see the Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza, which is one of the 7 wonders of the world. Visited Playa del Carmen and Cozumel Island. Also had a wonderful time in and around Cancun itself.

Snaps from the trip follow -

Carribean Sea + Beach @ Resort

Whose line is it anyway?
(Ferry terminal @ Cozumel Island)

Colorful hand-woven hammocks

Pyramid of Kukulcan
(One of the 7 Wonders of the World)

Beauty in the ruins?
(A photo that I took came out very desktop wallpaper-ish)

I'm sure I'll rave more about the trip in future posts. For now, let's not push you into the dark hole of boredom!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Today has been a fantabulous day.

My release at work went great this morning.
Then I made a phone call which changed someone's life and made another someone really happy.
I was told by a friend that they're really lucky to have me in their life.
And now? It's party time. NYC, here I come! :-)

Relentless Journey

The journey is borne
When you throw your cap in the air,
And party the night out.

At a glance,
The road ahead looks lit by success,
And paved with opportunity.

You start walking,
And along the road,
Are rocks of hardwork,
Boulders of long hours,
Pebbles of frustration,
And bricks of satisfaction.
There's twigs of silly moments
Where your questions get laughed at,
And trees of proud moments,
Where someone says 'I like your idea on that!'

You think it'll end,
But it never does!
Endless and relentless,
Day in, day out,
This walk continues forever.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Take 15

I like making lists. So what?
  1. This blog has 5 faithful readers in the entire world. I'm one of them.
  2. I've tried my very best at swallowing (I didn't say eating) oatmeal. Can't do it. In all its slimy glory, the food makes me cringe.
  3. White Chocolate Mocha and Espresso Truffle are two of my favorite drinks at Starbucks.
  4. My English accent (Indian or American) depends on who I talk to. And it's entirely subconscious.
  5. I'm addicted to 'Tere Naina' from Chandni Chowk to China right now.
  6. I call my Mum every day when I leave from work. And I ask her the same question every day - 'What's for dinner?'
  7. The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache!
  8. Every town's local 'Subzi Mandi' is a monopoly.
  9. I love cooking!
  10. #9 has a disclaimer attached to it. Don't expect me to wash dishes.
  11. Life would be very incomplete without music.
  12. Rabindranath Tagore is the only man who has written national anthems for two countries. Jana Gana Mana for India and Amar Sonar Bangla for Bangladesh.
  13. I used to be able to pull a lot of 'one-nighters' for several books that had me hooked. Can't do that now. What used to take a night now takes a week. Sometimes even a month.
  14. Walks in the rain are amazing. Being drenched to the bones? Even better!
  15. I have a 'lucky chain' I hold onto every time I'm releasing something into production.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Text Messaging

So, as you can see, I'm posting pretty much every night. Don't get your hopes up too high though - this urge to post oh-so-frequently does die down.

Anyway, I've gotten into text messaging (or 'SMS-ing') lately. Not with too many people, just one or two good friends. I have a 'thing' (aren't I so specific?) about text messages though. If someone sends me a text, I promptly reply back. But, if I don't get a reply back to my reply - that's off limits. My mind discreetly screams out, 'It takes patience and my precious time to type out a text!' Not replying back to a reply is bad texting etiquette.

So, one of my friends messaged me today with a really good news. I texted him back, but no reply! It's okay though. In retrospect, this one is probably the most important one he's sent me till date. Being truly happy for a friend prevails. I guess bad texting etiquette is a pardonable offense after all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Eight Hours of Sleep

I had to blog about this, because I keep saying it'll happen, and it never does.

Eight hours of sleep. I crave it every night, but never put myself to a routine to say 'Computer off, bedtime'. There's always one more email to write, one more facebook post to reply to, or one more phone call to make.

But, today, I see a ray of hope in myself. The eyelids are drooping and my dreams beckon me. Can't believe this, but eight hours of sleep, here I come!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Totally Random!

!!! I still remember the Chain Rule from my high school AP Calculus class. Don't ask why.

?? How am I going to surive this coming Friday, when the expected low temperature is dropping to 8 degrees Farenheit!

:-) I loved reading Suketu Mehta's Maximum City. I miss Mumbai!

!!! 'Not much' has become such a trite and 'blah' answer to 'What's up?' that if you reply saying something else other than 'Not much', people give you weird looks that read - 'Why are you telling me this?'

:-S This week at work is going to be very hectic. Is it Friday yet?

:-) I like being friends with folks at work. It adds a ray of personal touch between the cloudiness of deliverables and responsibility.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Life becomes so rushed sometimes. There's a rush to wake up in the morning, rush to get to work, rush to meet the deadlines at work, rush to get out of work to catch the express train to the express bus, rush to get from the bus stop to the car in record time because it's so cold outside, rush to eat dinner and rush to go to bed because you know that evil alarm clock will wake you up at 6am the next morning!

Between the day-in/day-out schedule, though, we forget to enjoy the simple pleasures that life has to offer. A relaxing shower after a hectic day. A long afternoon nap. A walk by the riverfront. A song that reminds us of special moments. A warm cup of hot chocolate while reading a good book. It could be anything, really.

Things could get tricky though. You might not know what is it that really gives you a peace of mind. But then again, knowing yourself is a journey, not a destination.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hello 2009!

First off - Happy New Year, everybody!

In retrospect, 2008 has been a wonderful year. Lot of changes - good changes - at work as well as in personal life. I met some interesting people, made new friends, and spent quality time with those near and dear to me.

I'm glad 2008 ended on a good note. I went to Mexico for a brief (and much needed) get-away during the holiday season, and the trip was very enjoyable. Saw some interesting places, ate delicious food, and relaxed my brain out. Pictures to follow soon!

As content as I am though, I have great hopes from 2009. Resolutions? Yes, of course - to fill the backlog of all past resolutions and to make new ones :-P